Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

 
Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd   05/09/2008   09:23   Page 2

                                                      Civil Service Code
                                                      of Standards and Behaviour
Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd   05/09/2008   09:23   Page 3
civil service codes.09.08.qxd   05/09/2008   09:23   Page 4

                                                     Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

               CIVIL SERVICE CODE
               OF STANDARDS AND BEHAVIOUR

               As drawn up and promulgated by the Minister for Finance on
               9 September 2004 pursuant to Section 10(3) of the Standards
               in Public Office Act 2001 and published by the Standards in                           1
               Public Office Commission (revised edition) in September 2008
               pursuant to Section 10(11) of the Standards in Public Office
               Act 2001.
civil service codes.09.08.qxd             05/09/2008   09:23   Page 5

                    MISSION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE

                    The mission of the Civil Service is the achievement of an excellent service
                    for Government and the other institutions of State as well as for the
  2                 public as citizens and users of public services, based on principles of
                    integrity, impartiality, effectiveness, equity and accountability.

   Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd       05/09/2008     09:23       Page 6

                                                               Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

         CONTENTS

               INTRODUCTION

               PART 1 - The Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour – An Overview
         1.    The Code in context
         2.    The requirements of the Code
         3.    Application of the Code

               PART 2 - Standards Required of Civil Servants
               STANDARDS UNDERPINNING SERVICE DELIVERY
         4.    Impartiality
         5.    Civil servants and politics
         6.    Respect for the law
         7.    Disclosure of information
         8.    Dealings with the public
         9.    Criminal convictions                                                                            3
               BEHAVIOUR AT WORK
         10.   Attendance and performance
         11.   Regard for state resources
         12.   Relations with colleagues

               STANDARDS OF INTEGRITY
         13.   Improper influence
         14.   Conflicts of interest
         15.   Disclosure of conflicts of interest
         16.   Gifts
         17.   Hospitality
         18.   Payment for work on behalf of outside bodies
         19.   Contracts with, purchases from or sales to Government Departments/Offices
         20.   Acceptance of outside appointments and of consultancy engagement following
               resignation or retirement
         21.   Outside Appointments Board

         APPENDIX
         Summary of the main features of the Code
civil service codes.09.08.qxd             05/09/2008   09:23   Page 7

  4

   Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd                  05/09/2008          09:23      Page 8

                                                                               Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

         Introduction

         The tradition of the Civil Service has been one             a high priority to the development of a Code of
         of loyal and impartial service for the benefit of           Standards and Behaviour for the Civil Service
         the country.                                                when it commenced its deliberations. The
                                                                     development of a new Code recognises
                                                                     explicitly that, within the major modernisation
         To work in the public service is to work for the
                                                                     programme which is currently underway in the
         common good. The traditional values of the
                                                                     Irish Civil Service, there is a need to restate and
         public service - honesty, impartiality and
                                                                     promote core public service values so as to
         integrity - are about serving this common
                                                                     marry the best of the old with the new. New
                                                                                                                               5
         good. Standards of probity are high and must
                                                                     systems for providing quality customer service,
         be maintained. These values must be the
                                                                     for devolving responsibility to
         basis for the official actions of civil servants.
                                                                     Departments/Offices and managers, for
                                                                     managing performance and for using
         This Code of Standards and Behaviour for the                information technology are all posing
         Irish Civil Service is being introduced in                  challenges to existing policies and practices.
         accordance with section 10(3) of the Standards
         in Public Office Act 2001.1 It applies to civil
                                                                     Changes to the regulatory environment and
         servants of the Government as well as civil
                                                                     new Human Resource Management systems
         servants of the State and is an important pillar
                                                                     will also have a major impact on the way the
         of the Delivering Better Government
                                                                     Civil Service operates. To get the best from the
         programme. The Human Resources
                                                                     new ways of doing business, they have to be
         Management Working Group, established under
                                                                     grounded in a public service ethos which sets
         the Strategic Management Initiative, accorded

         1
             ”(3) The Minister shall from time to time draw up codes of conduct for the guidance of persons who hold or
             occupy directorships or positions of employment in public bodies but before doing so shall consult with the
             Commission and such persons representative of those persons as he or she considers appropriate.”
civil service codes.09.08.qxd                05/09/2008          09:23   Page 9

                   out clearly the standards expected and ways in
                   which people will achieve them.

                   To underpin the change process, an integrated
                   approach to the values, standards and
                   behaviour of civil servants is now being
                   adopted through this Civil Service Code. The
  6                Code sets out a clear framework within which
                   civil servants must work. It sets out in a single
                   document the principles which should govern
                   the behaviour of civil servants and the values
                   which the Civil Service espouses.

                   It builds on the principles set out in “The
                   Ombudsman’s Guide to Standards of Best
                   Practice for Public Servants”. It is not intended
                   to be an exhaustive list of guidelines for all
                   possible eventualities. Individual Departments
                   and Offices will wish to provide additional
                   guidance as appropriate for their own staff
                   relevant to their own particular circumstances.

   Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd              05/09/2008        09:23    Page 10

                                                                       Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

         Part 1
         The Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
         An Overview
         1. The Code in context                                    • always acting within the law and
         Civil servants can be justly proud of the high            • performing their duties with efficiency,
         standards of conduct which have characterised               diligence and courtesy.
         their service to the public over many years and
         enabled them to carry out the mission of the         (b) Observe appropriate behaviour at work by:
         Civil Service. The Civil Service Code of                  • dealing with the public sympathetically,
         Standards and Behaviour is an important                     fairly and promptly and
         element of the overall framework within which             • treating their colleagues with respect.           7
         all civil servants are expected to work. It sets
         out the standards required of civil servants in      (c) Maintain the highest standards of probity
         the discharge of their duties. These standards              by:
         of behaviour and values will support a high               • conducting themselves with honesty,
         quality public service, based on high levels of             impartiality and integrity;
         personal performance and responsibility.
                                                                   • never seeking to use improper
                                                                     influence, in particular, never seeking to
                                                                     use political influence to affect decisions
         2. The requirements of the Code
                                                                     concerning their official positions;
         In the performance of their duties civil servants
         must:                                                     • abiding by guidelines in respect of offers
                                                                     of gifts or hospitality and
         (a) Maintain high standards in service delivery           • avoiding conflicts of interest.
             by:
              • conscientiously, honestly and impartially
                 serving the Government of the day, the
                 other institutions of State and the
                 public;
civil service codes.09.08.qxd               05/09/2008           09:23   Page 11

                   3. Application of the Code                                   unestablished positions and whose
                   3.1 The provisions of the Code apply to all                  tenure is coterminous with that of the
                       staff (i.e. established and unestablished                relevant Minister/Attorney General (e.g.
                       civil servants) whether full-time or                     personal assistants, special advisors,
                       employed on an atypical basis (e.g.                      personal secretaries in offices of
                       temporary or part-time). They also apply                 Ministers and civilian drivers of
                       to staff on forms of special leave including             Ministers of State).
                       career break except where they deal with
  8                    circumstances which can only arise where          3.2 This Code forms part of the terms of
                       the staff member is at work. The                      employment of all civil servants who are
                       requirements in relation to official secrecy          expected to apply it at all times. A copy
                       will apply to former staff, while                     must be given to every staff member on
                       requirements in relation to post-                     entry to the Civil Service and they will be
                       retirement/resignation employment will                required to certify in writing that they
                       not apply to civil servants who retired prior         have received and read it. The Code will
                       to promulgation of this Code. Apart from              be circulated to all existing staff who will
                       the provisions in relation to civil servants          be required to sign a similar declaration.
                       and politics the Code also applies to the             An opportunity should be given to staff to
                       posts of                                              obtain clarification on any aspect of the
                        • Government Press Secretary,                        Code. Staff induction courses will include
                        • Deputy Government Press Secretary,                 instruction on the provisions of the Code.
                                                                             Breaches of the Code will constitute a
                        • Assistant Government Press Secretary
                                                                             breach of the terms of employment of a
                          and
                                                                             civil servant and may result in disciplinary
                        • all Ministerial and Attorney General
                                                                             action.
                          Private Office staff holding temporary

   Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd              05/09/2008       09:23    Page 12

                                                                      Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

         Part 2
         Standards Required of Civil Servants

         The detailed standards required of civil                    future Minister or Government
         servants in the performance of their official               confidence in their integrity and
         duties are set out in this part of the Code. The
         Code also details specific requirements placed          (c) should not display partiality whether
         on certain civil servants following their                   as a result of personal or family ties or
         retirement or resignation.                                  otherwise.

         Standards Underpinning                                                                                       9
                                                             5. Civil servants and politics
         Service Delivery                                    5.1 Restrictions have traditionally been
         The standards which underpin the general                imposed on civil servants engaging in
         ethos of the Civil Service are set out below:           political activity to ensure public
                                                                 confidence in the political impartiality of
         4. Impartiality                                         the Civil Service. This section restates the
             Civil servants in the performance of their          existing restrictions.
             official duties:
                                                             5.2 (a) Civil servants are not permitted to seek
             (a) must conscientiously serve the duly                 a nomination or to stand for election
                 elected Government of the day, the                  to either House of the Oireachtas or to
                 other institutions of State and the                 the European Parliament. This
                 public;                                             restriction applies to all categories of
                                                                     staff. Civil servants above clerical level
             (b) must advise and implement policy                    cannot stand for local election.
                 impartially and, in particular, be
                 conscious of the need to maintain the           (b) Civil servants in the craft and state
                 independence necessary to give any                  industrial related grades are free to
civil service codes.09.08.qxd                     05/09/2008            09:23       Page 13

                               engage in politics2 and may stand for                     except if required to do so as part of their
                               local election. The general restriction                   official duties. This is not intended to
                               in relation to election to either House                   change existing practice. Civil servants in
                               of the Oireachtas or the European                         category (c) may engage in public debate
                               Parliament applies.                                       on politics only with the prior permission
                                                                                         of their Department/Office. These
                          (c) Members of the clerical grades in the                      provisions do not preclude publication by
                               Civil Service and non-industrial civil                    civil servants of material on public affairs
                               servants in grades with salary maxima                     in accordance with statute or where such
                               equal to or below the Clerical Officer                    publication was authorised by the
                               maximum may apply to their                                Department/Office.
                               Department/Office for permission to
                               engage in politics on the same basis as              5.4 The provisions of Paragraphs 5.1 and 5.2
                               the staff referred to at (b). Officers                    do not apply to the posts of Government
                               employed on particular types of work                      Press Secretary, Deputy Government Press
 10                            may, at the discretion of departmental                    Secretary, Assistant Government Press
                               management, have their applications                       Secretary, and all Ministerial and Attorney
                               refused. In cases where permission                        General Private Office staff holding
                               would otherwise be refused,                               temporary unestablished positions and
                               Departments/Offices should examine                        whose tenure is coterminous with that of
                               the possibility of moving an officer to a                 the relevant Minister/Attorney General
                               less sensitive area.                                      (e.g. personal assistants, special advisors,
                                                                                         personal secretaries in offices of Ministers
                          (d) All civil servants above clerical level                    and civilian drivers of Ministers of State).
                               are totally debarred from engaging in
                               any form of political activity.                      6. Respect for the law
                                                                                    6.1 The work of the Civil Service is carried out
                   5.3 Civil servants in category (d) may not                            within a framework of law. It is the duty
                          engage in public debate (e.g. letter writing                   of civil servants to respect these legal
                          to newspapers, contributions to television                     constraints, in particular:
                          or radio programmes, etc.) on politics,

                   2
                       Previously, Department of Finance circulars on politics have used terms such as “political matters”, “matters
                       of current political interest”, “political action or position”, “political issues” and “political activity”. For the
                       purposes of this document, the term “politics” is used to cover all of these terms.

   Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd              05/09/2008        09:23    Page 14

                                                                       Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

             •   never to act in a manner which they              the FOI procedures applying in their
                 know, or suspect, is illegal, improper,          Departments/Offices.
                 or unethical or for which they have no
                 legal authority and                          7.2 Particular care should be taken to
             •   to exercise any discretion conferred by          safeguard information concerning the
                 law in a bona fide manner in                     private affairs of members of the public or
                 accordance with the intentions of the            concerning the commercial affairs of
                 statute.                                         companies or organisations which has
                                                                  been submitted in connection with official
         6.2 Civil servants who have doubts about the             business on condition, or on the
             legality of a particular action which they           reasonable assumption, that it would
             are required to take in the course of their          remain confidential. The FOI Acts
             official duties should refer the matter to           recognise the importance of protecting
             their superiors whose responsibility it is to        such information in the normal course
             issue a direction on the matter, following           from third party access. Where
             legal advice where necessary.                        exceptionally sensitive information of a         11
                                                                  personal, commercially sensitive or
                                                                  confidential nature is under consideration
         7. Disclosure of information                             for release in the public interest, the FOI
         7.1 All civil servants should ensure that they           Acts impose a number of safeguards to
             deal with queries from members of the                ensure the rights of the person(s)
             public in an open and helpful way. Under             concerned are fully respected.
             the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and
             2003 (FOI Acts), members of the public           7.3 It remains a requirement under the Official
             enjoy a legal right of access to information         Secrets Act 1963 that all civil servants,
             held by Government Departments/Offices               including those who are retired or on a
             and other public bodies, subject to certain          career break, avoid improper disclosure of
             exemptions defined in the FOI Acts.                  information gained in the course of their
             Arising from the FOI Acts, certain officers          official work. For example, disclosure of
             are given explicit responsibility for the            information would be likely to be improper
             provision of information to members of               where a person has not been given
             the public on foot of requests under the             responsibility to provide information to the
             FOI Acts. Civil servants should take                 public under the FOI Acts, or is not
             particular care to inform themselves about           otherwise authorised to do so.
civil service codes.09.08.qxd                  05/09/2008       09:23   Page 15

                   8. Dealings with the public                             the Court places the convicted person on
                   8.1 Civil servants should:                              probation rather than imprison him or her)
                       •   ensure that members of the public               must report that fact to his or her
                           have their affairs dealt with                   Personnel Officer. In certain
                           sympathetically, efficiently and                circumstances, this may have implications
                           promptly;                                       for his or her official position.
                       •   always give their names to any                  Departments/Offices should exercise
                           member of the public with whom they             discretion in dealing with cases in the light
                           are dealing, except where given a               of all of the merits of each case. In
                           special exemption, for example, on              accordance with the Data Protection Acts
                           security grounds and                            1988 and 2003, such information will be
                                                                           treated in strict confidence by
                       •   ensure that members of the public are
                                                                           Departments/Offices and no record of it
                           dealt with in a respectful manner.
                                                                           will be kept unless the information is
                                                                           relevant to the official duties being carried
                   8.2 Civil servants should:
 12                    •   ensure that their standard of dress is
                                                                           out by the officer.

                           appropriate to their work environment;
                       •   show due consideration and respect for
                                                                        Behaviour at Work
                           the public, their colleagues and the
                           office they hold.                            10. Attendance and performance
                                                                           Civil servants are required:
                                                                           •   to attend at work as required and not
                   9. Criminal convictions                                     to absent themselves from duty
                       A civil servant who is convicted of a                   without proper authorisation;
                       criminal offence or given the benefit of
                                                                           •   to comply with the terms of the sick
                       the Probation Act when charged with a
                                                                               leave regulations;
                       criminal offence (whether the Probation
                                                                           •   at all times, to act in a manner
                       Act is (i) applied where summary
                                                                               consistent with the proper
                       proceedings for an offence are brought,
                                                                               performance of the functions of their
                       the case is proven and the Court decides
                                                                               Civil Service position and with the
                       not to proceed to conviction or (ii) applied
                                                                               maintenance of public confidence in
                       on conviction on indictment of an offence
                                                                               such performance, including refraining
                       which is punishable by imprisonment and

   Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd                   05/09/2008          09:23        Page 16

                                                                                 Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

                      from conduct which might impair                           themselves or by staff reporting to
                      performance;3                                             them.
               •      to ensure non-discriminatory language
                      is used in all communications, both
                                                                      12. Relations with colleagues
                      internal and external, including display
                                                                             Civil servants should show due respect for
                      material and documents in electronic
                                                                             their colleagues at work, including their
                      form and
                                                                             values and beliefs. Civil servants should
               •      not to engage in any outside business                  ensure that their behaviour towards other
                      or occupation during their normal                      colleagues is appropriate in the
                      hours of duty (see paragraphs 14 and                   workplace. Civil servants have a legal
                      18 below concerning business activities                duty not to discriminate against
                      outside of normal working hours).                      colleagues on the basis of their gender,
                                                                             race, sexual orientation, membership of
                                                                             the traveller community, disability, age,
         11. Regard for state resources
         11.1 Civil servants should endeavour to ensure
                                                                             marital status, family status and religious
                                                                                                                               13
                                                                             belief. Civil servants should support a
                   the proper, effective, and efficient use of               positive working environment by
                   public money.                                             observing and supporting the Civil Service
                                                                             policy on harassment, sexual harassment
         11.2 Civil servants are required to:                                and bullying.
                   • take proper and reasonable care of
                      public funds and departmental
                      property and not to use them, or
                      permit their use, for unauthorised
                                                                      Standards of Integrity
                                 4
                      purposes;
                                                                      13. Improper influence
                   • incur no liability on the part of their                 Civil servants are not allowed to:
                      employer without proper authorisation                  • use their official positions to benefit
                      and                                                       themselves or others with whom they
                   • ensure that expenses, such as travel                       have personal, family, business or
                      and subsistence payments, are not                         other ties;
                      unnecessarily incurred either by

         3
             The Civil Service Employee Assistance Service is available to help staff manage personal difficulties which, if
             left, might adversely affect their work performance and/or attendance and their quality of life.
         4
             “De minimis” use of departmental resources, i.e. a use that results in no actual cost to the State, or the cost
             to the State is so small as to be insignificant or negligible, is permitted.
civil service codes.09.08.qxd                05/09/2008            09:23   Page 17

                        • seek to influence decisions on matters                whose duties are of a professional
                           pertaining to their official positions               character (e.g. doctors, engineers,
                           except through the established                       architects, veterinary surgeons, solicitors,
                           procedures (for example, negotiating                 etc.) must not engage in private practice
                           or grievance procedures) or in such                  in their professions. Any case in which
                           other manner as the Secretary General                the propriety of undertaking a particular
                           or Head of Office may approve. In                    business or occupation could reasonably
                           particular, civil servants must not use              be open to question must be referred by
                           political influence to affect decisions              the civil servant concerned to the
                           concerning their official positions. The             Secretary General or Head of Office.
                           normal Conciliation and Arbitration and
                           other industrial relations issues apart,        14.2 Civil servants must never seek to use
                           civil servants are not allowed to solicit,           knowledge acquired in the performance
                           directly or indirectly, for personal                 of, or as a result of, their official duties to
                           concessions in their favour. Any breach              benefit themselves, or others with whom
 14                        of these rules may render a civil                    they have personal, family or other ties.
                           servant liable to disciplinary action.               A civil servant who, in the course of his or
                                                                                her official duties, comes into contact
                                                                                with any matter affecting any commercial
                   14. Conflicts of interest                                    undertaking in which he or she has an
                   14.1 Civil servants may not at any time                      interest, must immediately disclose the
                        engage in, or be connected with, any                    nature and extent of that interest to the
                        outside business or activity which would                Secretary General or Head of Office.
                        in any way conflict with the interests of               Another civil servant should in the normal
                        their Departments/Offices, or be                        course, unless the Secretary General or
                        inconsistent with their official positions,             Head of Office considers it unnecessary,
                        or tend to impair their ability to carry out            be assigned to deal with the matter.
                        their duties as civil servants. For this
                        reason, civil servants intending to be             14.3 A civil servant who experiences financial
                        engaged in or connected with any outside                difficulties which may compromise, or be
                        business or employment should inform                    reasonably seen by others to compromise,
                        their Personnel/Human Resources                         him or her in the performance of his or
                        Management Section of such an                           her duties (e.g. through bankruptcy, or
                        intention. Whole-time civil servants                    insolvency, or by incurring a significant

   Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd              05/09/2008          09:23     Page 18

                                                                         Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

              liability to any person, financial institution         noted that all civil servants are required
              or other body with whom he or she has                  to observe the provisions of this Code,
              official dealings) must report that fact to            such as the provisions in relation to the
              the Secretary General or Head of Office.               acceptance of gifts, which are more
              Any such information shall be dealt with               stringent than corresponding statutory
              in the strictest confidence by the                     provisions.
              Department/Office and the officer
              concerned will be offered such assistance         15.2 The positions in the Civil Service which
              as is available (for example through the               have been designated for the purposes of
              Employee Assistance Service) to resolve                the Ethics Acts are contained in the Ethics
              his or her difficulties.                               in Public Office (Designated Positions in
                                                                     Public Bodies) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No.
         14.4 A civil servant is not permitted to make               57 of 1996). [NB. the Ethics in Public
              representations on behalf of an outside                Office (Designated Positions in Public
              association or organisation, either as an              Bodies) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 698 of
              individual or as a member of a                         2004) revoking S.I. No. 57 of 1996 were         15
              delegation, in relation to matters for                 signed by the Minister for Finance on 3
              which his or her Department/Office has                 November 2004 and come into operation
              responsibility except with the specific                on 1 January 2005]. In summary,
              prior consent of the Head of his or her                established civil servants at Principal
              Department/Office.                                     Officer level and upwards are affected by
                                                                     the provisions of the Ethics Acts. The
                                                                     Ethics Acts also apply to a range of less
         15. Disclosure of conflicts of                              senior positions (e.g. posts dealing with
             interest                                                contracts or in commercially sensitive
         15.1 Civil servants who occupy positions which              areas), and to advisors who are appointed
              are "designated positions" for purposes of             personally by Ministers, and who serve as
              the Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 and              unestablished civil servants for the length
              2001 (the Ethics Acts) have certain                    of their Minister's tenure of office.
              statutory obligations in relation to                   Personnel Officers must notify an officer
              disclosure of interests. Those obligations             on taking up duty in a designated
              are additional to any which apply                      position of the obligations attaching to
              generally to civil servants under the                  that position.
              provisions of this Code. It should be
civil service codes.09.08.qxd                05/09/2008          09:23   Page 19

                   15.3 Civil servants should be furnished with a           These local rules should be consistent
                        copy of the “Guidelines for Public                  with the general guidelines contained in
                        Servants concerning the steps to be taken           this section. For the purposes of these
                        by them to assist compliance with the               provisions, the term “gift” includes any
                        provisions of the Ethics in Public Office           benefit (other than a benefit dealt with
                        Acts 1995 and 2001”, published by the               under paragraph 18 of the Code) which is
                        Standards in Public Office Commission.              given to a civil servant free of charge or
                                                                            at less than its commercial price.

                   16. Gifts                                                • Subject to any rules which the
                   16.1 Civil servants should not receive benefits            Secretary General or Head of Office
                        of any kind from a third party which                  may determine, an officer may accept
                        might reasonably be seen to compromise                and retain gifts of modest value (e.g.
                        their personal judgement or integrity.                diaries, pens, etc.). Any gift of more
                        The overriding concern is that the actions            significant value should be refused or,
                        of civil servants be above suspicion and
 16                     not give rise to any actual or potential
                                                                              if such refusal would cause offence,
                                                                              should be handed over by the civil
                        conflict of interest, and that their dealings         servant concerned to his or her
                        with commercial and other interests                   Department/Office.
                        should bear the closest possible scrutiny.

                                                                            • A gift, other than a gift of modest
                   16.2 The receipt of gifts, as distinct from
                                                                              value, given to a civil servant by virtue
                        hospitality, by civil servants from those
                                                                              of his or her official relationship with
                        with whom they have official dealings
                                                                              the donor or his or her Department’s
                        must be governed by the highest
                                                                              commercial dealings with the donor
                        standards. The following general
                                                                              must be regarded as property of the
                        guidelines provide a framework within
                                                                              Department/Office concerned.
                        which decisions in this area can be made
                                                                              However, benefits under frequent flier
                        or local rules formulated. Civil servants
                                                                              schemes may be retained by individual
                        must abide by these instructions or the
                                                                              civil servants in recognition of the fact
                        local rules derived from them.
                                                                              that official travel is disruptive to
                        Departments/Offices are required to
                                                                              personal and family life.
                        apply these rules on the receipt of gifts or
                        to make local rules derived from them.

   Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd              05/09/2008        09:23     Page 20

                                                                       Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

              • Particular care should be taken in                 to, or receipt of gifts by, civil servants is a
                 relation to gifts from donors who stand           criminal offence punishable by
                 to derive a personal or commercial                imprisonment or fine or both. The Acts
                 benefit from their relationship with the          provide that money, gifts or other
                 Department/Office concerned.                      consideration received by a civil servant
                                                                   from a person holding or seeking to
              • Cash, gift cheques or any vouchers that            obtain a contract from a Government
                 may be exchanged for cash may not                 Department/Office is deemed to have
                 be accepted regardless of the amount.             been received corruptly unless the
                                                                   contrary is proved.

              • Civil servants may not solicit gifts,
                 directly or indirectly.
                                                              17. Hospitality
                                                              17.1 It is impossible to lay down definite rules
              • Civil servants may not approach any                covering the acceptance of hospitality in
                 business with which they have contact
                 through their official duties seeking
                                                                   all circumstances. The overriding concern
                                                                                                                     17
                                                                   is that all actions of civil servants in
                 sponsorship or support for any club,              carrying out their official duties be above
                 charitable organisation, association,             suspicion and not give rise to any actual
                 trade union or other organisation.                or potential conflict of interest, and that
                 Heads of Departments/Offices should               their dealings with commercial and other
                 apply discretion in the application of            interests should bear the closest possible
                 this rule to instances of very small              scrutiny. It is accepted that civil servants
                 patronage.                                        should not be put in a position where
                                                                   they cannot accept what are regarded as
              • Civil servants should not accept special           normal courtesies in business
                 facilities or discounts on private                relationships. However, in their contacts
                 purchases from suppliers with whom                with outside organisations or persons,
                 they have official dealings.                      every care must be taken by civil servants
                                                                   to ensure that their acceptance of
                                                                   hospitality does not influence them, and
         16.3 It should be noted that, under the
                                                                   could not reasonably be seen to influence
              Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889 to
                                                                   them, in discharging their official
              2001 as amended by the Ethics in Public
                                                                   functions.
              Office Act 1995, the corrupt giving of gifts
civil service codes.09.08.qxd               05/09/2008           09:23   Page 21

                   17.2 The following general guidelines provide                 direction. Heads of Departments/
                        a framework within which decisions in                    Offices are recommended to issue
                        this area can be made or local rules                     guidelines to their own staff having
                        formulated. Departments/Offices may                      regard to the offers of hospitality
                        apply these rules on hospitality or make                 which are commonly made to staff in
                        local rules derived from them.                           their Departments/Offices.

                        • All offers of hospitality from                      • Civil servants should not accept offers
                           commercial interests which have or                    of hospitality which go beyond the
                           might have contractual relations with                 routine practices referred to above,
                           the Department/Office of the civil                    except where acceptance of such an
                           servant to whom the offer is made                     offer can be clearly shown to be in the
                           must be reported by that civil servant                interest of the Department/Office and
                           to his or her manager for direction.                  has been approved by the manager of
                                                                                 the civil servant.
 18                     • No objection would normally be made
                           to the acceptance of what is regarded
                           as routine hospitality, for example, a
                                                                         18. Payment for work on behalf of
                           business lunch. What may be regarded
                                                                             outside bodies
                           as “routine” for this purpose will
                                                                         18.1 On occasion civil servants are asked to
                           depend on a number of factors such as
                                                                              carry out tasks for which they receive
                           the value of the hospitality offered, the
                                                                              payment or other benefit in kind on
                           frequency of offers, whether there is
                                                                              behalf of bodies other than their
                           an element of reciprocity and the
                                                                              Departments/Offices, as a consequence of
                           general circumstances in which it is
                                                                              their official positions. While, in many
                           offered (for example, whether it is
                                                                              instances, this practice does not give rise
                           offered by a company to all its
                                                                              to problems, there are certain
                           customers or is directed at specific or
                                                                              circumstances where difficulties may
                           potential customers). Certain types of
                                                                              arise, such as where the task performed
                           hospitality (for example involving
                                                                              forms part of the official duties of a civil
                           travelling abroad or holiday weekends)
                                                                              servant or is performed during normal
                           should not be regarded as routine and
                                                                              working hours.
                           should always be referred to the
                           superior of the civil servant for

   Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd              05/09/2008      09:23   Page 22

                                                                    Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

         18.2 All Departments/Offices should ensure                while work related, is not an integral
              that they have appropriate standards                 part of his or her official duties and is
              which have been clearly set out and                  carried on outside of normal working
              made known to all staff. The standards               hours.
              should ensure that there is a consistent,
              appropriate and clear standard applied
                                                               • The question of whether or not a task
              across a Department/Office in relation to
                                                                   is an integral part of a civil servant’s
              the acceptance of payment or other
                                                                   official duties may normally be
              benefit in kind for work carried out on
                                                                   determined by reference to the
              behalf of other organisations. The
                                                                   relevant work programmes. In case of
              following guidelines provide a framework
                                                                   doubt the civil servant should request
              within which decisions in this area can be
                                                                   his or her manager to determine if the
              made or local rules formulated.
                                                                   task is an integral part of official
                                                                   duties.
              • Where, because of his or her official
                position, a civil servant is invited to                                                         19
                                                               • In cases where no payment or other
                carry out work on behalf of an outside
                                                                   compensation arises a small token gift
                body, he or she shall notify his or her
                                                                   may be accepted by a civil servant by
                Personnel Officer in advance and may
                                                                   way of recognition.
                not seek or retain payment (other than
                appropriate travel and subsistence
                expenses) or other benefit in kind             • Where a civil servant has any doubts
                where the proposed activity is part of             concerning the propriety of accepting
                the civil servant’s duties. Where a                any payment or compensation from
                payment is made, it should be                      bodies outside of the Department/
                surrendered to the Personnel Officer,              Office, the matter should be referred to
                who will lodge it to the Department/               a manager for determination in
                Office’s account. Any benefit in kind              accordance with the guidelines
                should be returned to the body in                  outlined above. If a civil servant is
                question.                                          unhappy with the decision of a senior
                                                                   officer, he or she may appeal the
                                                                   matter to the Personnel Officer or the
              • A civil servant may accept a modest
                                                                   Secretary General or Head of Office as
                payment or benefit in kind if the task,
                                                                   appropriate.
civil service codes.09.08.qxd                  05/09/2008       09:23   Page 23

                   19. Contracts with, purchases from                        (b) prior sanction has been obtained from
                       or sales to Government                                    the Department/Office in which the
                       Departments/Offices                                       transaction arises, following
                   19.1 A civil servant should not seek contracts                consultation with the Department/
                        with Government Departments or Offices                   Office in which the civil servant is
                        for the supply of goods or services (other               serving.
                        than for employment) either for his or
                        her own benefit, or for any partnership or      19.4 A civil servant who enters into any
                        company with which he or she has an                  undertaking, or who holds any outside
                        involvement in his or her private capacity           interest or participates in any outside
                        or on behalf of other persons or                     business affecting, or likely to affect, a
                        organisations.                                       State contract or the purchase or sale of
                                                                             State property must immediately disclose
                   19.2 No Department/Office should knowingly                the nature and extent of his or her
                        undertake to contract for the supply of              interest to the Secretary General or Head
 20                     goods or services (other than for                    of Office. A civil servant should not
                        employment) with a civil servant or with             accept a directorship (except as a
                        any partnership or company with which a              nominee of a Minister) in any company
                        civil servant has an involvement in his or           holding a Government contract or in a
                        her private capacity.                                company which may reasonably be
                                                                             expected to hold such a contract in future.

                   19.3 No purchase should be made from, and
                        no sale made to, a civil servant, or any        19.5 Civil servants shall not negotiate or
                        partnership or company with which a civil            arbitrate in any matter affecting a
                        servant has an involvement in his or her             Government contract or the purchase
                        private capacity in respect of goods or              from or sale of goods to the State where,
                        services unless:                                     in their private capacities, they are
                                                                             interested either as principals or as
                                                                             shareholders in a company being one of
                        (a) the transaction is such as occurs in
                                                                             the principals in the matter under
                            the ordinary course of business (e.g.
                                                                             consideration.
                            the purchase of Government Supplies
                            Agency publications or of Savings
                            Certificates) or

   Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd              05/09/2008         09:23   Page 24

                                                                       Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

         20. Acceptance of outside                                Ethics Acts shall not, within twelve
             appointments and of                                  months of resigning or retiring from the
             consultancy engagement                               service:
             following resignation or                             • accept an offer of appointment from
             retirement                                               an employer outside the Civil Service
         20.1 The following provisions are designed to                or
              foster a culture in which civil servants are        • accept an engagement in a particular
              fully aware of the potential for conflict of            consultancy project,
              interest in accepting positions outside the
                                                                  where the nature and terms of such
              Civil Service. It is important to declare to
                                                                  appointment or engagement could lead
              the appropriate authority (see paragraph
                                                                  to a conflict of interest, without first
              20.4) such potential conflicts of interest in
                                                                  obtaining approval from the appropriate
              order to avoid any suspicion that the
                                                                  authority as outlined at 20.4. Even where
              advice and decisions of a serving officer
                                                                  the twelve months moratorium has
              might be influenced by the expectation of
                                                                  elapsed, or where for other reasons
              future employment with a particular firm
                                                                  approval is not required before taking up
                                                                                                                   21
              or organisation. However, it is not the
                                                                  outside employment, officers must
              intention to place an unnecessary burden
                                                                  continue to observe the restrictions
              on civil servants in this regard and it is
                                                                  imposed by the Official Secrets Act 1963
              expected that these provisions will not
                                                                  as amended by the Freedom of
              affect the generality of former civil
                                                                  Information Acts 1997 and 2003. These
              servants joining outside employment.
                                                                  rules also apply to other persons
                                                                  designated under the Ethics Acts (for
         20.2 Any civil servant intending to be engaged           example, special advisors who are
              in or connected with (i) any outside                appointed personally by Ministers) and to
              business with which he or she had official          officers in grades below the pay level of
              dealings or (ii) any outside business that          Principal who, although not serving in a
              might gain an unfair advantage over its             designated post at the time of their
              competitors by employing him or her,                retirement/resignation, have served in
              must inform the appropriate authority of            such a post at any stage during the six
              such an intention. Additionally, civil              months prior to their retirement/
              servants who hold positions which are               resignation. In such cases, the twelve
              “designated positions” for purposes of the          month period in which these rules apply
civil service codes.09.08.qxd               05/09/2008          09:23   Page 25

                        will be reckoned from the officer’s last        20.6 Where a Secretary General or Head of
                        day in the designated post.                          Office attaches conditions to taking up an
                                                                             appointment, the civil servant concerned
                                                                             may refer the decision to the Outside
                   20.3 In general, Departments and Offices
                                                                             Appointments Board for review.
                        should monitor the acceptance of outside
                        appointments by civil servants and former
                        civil servants.                                 20.7 The Secretary General or Head of Office
                                                                             and the Minister for Finance reserve the
                                                                             right to take appropriate action in the
                   20.4 Civil servants who (i) intend to be
                                                                             event that the provisions of this section
                        engaged in or connected with any outside
                                                                             are not complied with.
                        business in the manner described at
                        paragraph 20.2 or (ii) who hold
                        “designated positions” (under the Ethics
                        Acts) must make their applications as           21. Outside Appointments Board
 22                     follows:                                        21.1 This Board, established by the Minister for
                        • Officers below Assistant Secretary level           Finance, will consist of the Secretary
                           must apply to the Secretary General or            General, Public Service Management and
                           Head of Office in which they are                  Development, in the Department of
                           serving, or have last served before               Finance, the Secretary General to the
                           retirement or resignation;                        Government, and three other members,
                                                                             who will not be civil servants or former
                        • Officers at and above Assistant
                                                                             civil servants, one of whom will act as
                           Secretary level must apply to the
                                                                             Chairman. The Board will, from time to
                           Outside Appointments Board.
                                                                             time, outline the detailed basis on which
                                                                             applications will be assessed and how the
                   20.5 Applications will be considered by the               decisions of the Board may be appealed.
                        appropriate authority on the basis of
                        determining whether or not a clear
                                                                        21.2 The Chairman of the Board shall report
                        conflict of interest exists. Approval to
                                                                             annually to Government, through the
                        take up an appointment or accept an
                                                                             Minister for Finance, on the performance
                        engagement may either be unconditional
                                                                             of the Board, and may from time to time,
                        or conditions may be attached.
                                                                             as he or she thinks fit, submit other
                                                                             reports on the Board’s functions.

   Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd               05/09/2008     09:23     Page 26

                                                                     Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

         Appendix
         Summary of the main features of                       the Probation Act when tried for a
         the Code                                              criminal offence, must report that fact to
                                                               their Personnel Officer. [Section 9]

           • Civil servants must be impartial in the
             performance of their duties. [Section 4]        • Civil servants are required to attend at
                                                               work as required and comply with the
                                                               terms of sick leave regulations. [Section
           • Civil servants are not permitted to stand
                                                               10]
             for general or European elections.
             However, civil servants in the craft and
             state industrial related grades are free to     • Civil servants are required to have due
             engage in political activity and stand for        regard for State resources to ensure
             local elections. [Section 5]                      proper, effective and efficient use of
                                                               public money. [Section 11]

           • Civil servants must respect the constraints
             of the law. [Section 6]                         • Civil servants should show due respect to         23
                                                               their colleagues including their beliefs
                                                               and values. [Section 12]
           • Under the Freedom of Information Acts
             1997 to 2003, members of the public
             have a legal right to information held by       • The use of their official positions by civil
             Government Departments and other                  servants to benefit themselves or others
             public bodies. However, the requirement           with whom they have personal or
             under the Official Secrets Act 1963 that          business ties is not allowed. Civil
             civil servants avoid improper disclosure of       servants are also forbidden to seek to
             information gained in the course of their         influence decisions on matters pertaining
             work still applies. [Section 7]                   to their official positions other than
                                                               through established procedures. [Section
                                                               13]
           • Civil servants must maintain high
             standards of service in all of their
                                                             • Civil servants may not engage in outside
             dealings with the public. [Section 8]
                                                               business or activity which would in any
                                                               way conflict with the interests of their
           • Civil servants who are convicted of               Departments/Offices. [Section 14]
             criminal offences, or given the benefit of
civil service codes.09.08.qxd               05/09/2008           09:23   Page 27

                      • Civil servants who occupy “designated               for their own benefit or for the benefit of
                        positions” for the purposes of the Ethics           any company with which they may have
                        Acts have certain statutory obligations in          an involvement in a private capacity.
                        relation to disclosure of interests. These          [Section 19]
                        obligations are additional to any
                        obligations imposed by the Code.
                                                                          • Civil servants shall not within twelve
                        [Section 15]
                                                                            months of resigning or retiring from the
                                                                            Civil Service, accept an appointment, or
                      • Civil servants should not receive benefits          particular consultancy project, where the
                        of any kind from a third party which                nature and terms of such appointment
                        might reasonably be seen to compromise              could lead to a conflict of interest or the
                        their personal judgement or integrity.              perception of such, without first obtaining
                        Departments are required to apply the               the approval of the Outside Appointments
                        rules contained in the Code on the receipt          Board or the Secretary General or Head of
                        of gifts or to make local rules deriving            Office as appropriate. Additionally, civil
 24                     from them. [Section 16]                             servants who hold positions which are
                                                                            “designated positions” for the purposes of
                                                                            the Ethics Acts must, within twelve
                      • The same principle applies to any
                                                                            months of resigning or retiring, obtain the
                        acceptance of hospitality. Within the
                                                                            approval of the Outside Appointments
                        general framework of guidelines set out
                                                                            Board or the Secretary General or Head of
                        in the Code, every care must be taken to
                                                                            Office as appropriate before taking up any
                        ensure that (a) any acceptance of
                                                                            outside appointment.
                        hospitality does not influence, or be seen
                                                                            [Sections 20 and 21]
                        to influence, the discharging of official
                        functions [Section 17] and (b) that there
                        are clear and appropriate standards in
                        place which have been notified to all staff
                        in relation to payment for work on behalf
                        of outside bodies. [Section 18]

                      • Civil servants must not seek contracts
                        with Government Departments or Offices
                        for supply of goods or services whether

   Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
civil service codes.09.08.qxd   05/09/2008   09:23   Page 28
civil service codes.09.08.qxd          05/09/2008   09:23   Page 1

    Standards in Public Office Commission
    18 Lower Leeson Street
    Dublin 2
    Tel: +353 1 639 5666
    Fax: +353 1 639 5684
    email:    sipo@sipo.gov.ie
    web: www.sipo.gov.ie
You can also read
Next slide ... Cancel